Arsenal vs Man United: Last Chance Saloon…

It’s a big one… a decisive one… for both clubs… But for us, it’s a last chance saloon in what seems to be a collapse of any premier league ambition. For Arsenal, a club that has never finished outside the top four, and having lost our last two games in the league, it’s a very big possibility this season. Failure to win against Man United tomorrow will see us 7 points behind 4th placed Chelsea a potentially a whopping 13 points behind 3rd placed Sp*rs. No matter how many injuries we have encountered, the points tally is simply not good enough.

Arsene last week singled out the individual mistakes, the lack of focus in matches as a reason why we lost the games we lost. When it’s the manager himself who buys the players and trains them, then where does the buck stop? Is Benayoun as a holding midfielder ever going to do what Wilshere or Arteta can? Decisions this season have been strange, to say the least. Decisions in formation, decisions in the transfer market and decisions on the pitch.

Arsene spoke on on Friday and said a lot, but one thing I’d like to bring to your attention is this one line:

“If the players come back, we are strong enough [to make the top four]. If we do not have the players back we will struggle.”

Now that is a line that I’d have to disagree with. With the likes of Nasri and Cesc last season, we we only good enough for 4th – with their departures and the points tally we have now, are we really good enough for 4th with the players we have. Yes, we have a big squad, but how many of them are quality players? How many of them can compare with the old school of Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira etc? How many of our team would get into Man City’s team?

If you recall your minds back to the Blackburn game – we had everyone in our whole squad available, with one exception, Jack Wilshere – and we lost that game 4-3. Whilst I don’t want to be a negative person, I find it hard to believe that the return of our missing players is suddenly going to put us onto the form required to claw back 10 to 13 points. With the other teams in the forms of their season, we will also need them to drop points, and a lot of points.

But in football, there is always a chance.

Whether or not, we live in a dream or not, there is always a chance that something will change, form will arrive, games will be won and points will be accrued.

If we do beat United, and Sp*rs lose or draw to Man City, if Norwich can hold Chelsea or cause them a shock, then suddenly the gap isn’t so big.

Arsene spoke about finishing outside of the top four and said:

“For me it would be [a disaster] because I want to play with the best,” he said. “We want to be in there, in the top four, and to play in the Champions League. Anything else would not be good enough.”

And when your manager says that, you feel that it is still a possibility, that it’s the target. Earlier in the week, we heard that various players would be missing – Vermaelen and Henry suffering calf strains, with Arteta suffering a groin strain. Well, we know Arteta is definitely out – but the good news I’m hearing is that Henry and Vermaelen will be back in the squad and both may start…

A potential line up could be:

Szcznesy

Djourou – Mertersacker – Koscielny – Vermaelen

Song – Ramsey

Walcott – Rosicky – Henry

Van Persie

Personally, I’d prefer to see Oxlade start the game and keep Henry in reserve… but I’d definitely not start Arshavin or Benayoun – they’re both not the players we need to win this game… Now that I’ve said that, I bet you they both will start!

Our come back will start tomorrow.

It’s time to shake off the negative vibes and focus of the players we have at our disposal… a win tomorrow, and we will be back on track to our target…

Come on you Gooners…

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Frimpong has fractured his cheek bone and will be out for three months. As far as tomorrow s game goes I can only see one result to be honest and it is not going to be fun to watch.

    At least Chelsea drew against Norwich so we could capitalise if by some miracle we do win.

  • Nick

    We’ve needed to win these last few weeks to capitalize on the teams above us dropping points. With a Chelsea draw and a 3-1 Liverpool loss we HAVE to win! No tie and no loss, we can’t drop anymore points if we wanna finish top 4. Dalglish is talking about axing his underperforming players and I’d like to hear Arsene saying the same type of thing. Give us less than 100% every minute on that pitch and you’ve made his decisions for him.

    I want to see 11 men with passion in their hearts and fire in their eyes when they take that home field tomorrow! The fans need to give their all in terms of support and the lads had better repay that in kind. We did it to Chelsea now do it to the Mancs…Come on you gunners!!!!

  • jat85

    they say a billion people watch this game live worldwide and for once I’ll be one of those tuning in at a godforsaken hour to see it all unfold. prayers and miracle-wishing being sent from Melbourne!

  • SoreLoser

    @ Gooner Get Ya:
    He had an eye injury and is fine now – he will probably be back next week.

    @ Nick:
    Agree – 100% agree.

  • Berth

    I clearly see why some of my friends think Wenger a retarded old man

  • Berth

    Hmm!! I still can’t get my head around the decision Wenger made in replacing Ox for Arshavin. Its really time the man is questioned about his capabilities of leading the team.

  • bonathan

    is there any other manager in the world that would have taken off OX? I don’t think there is. our best attacking player by far and we took him off.
    Theo walcott had an absolute mare in the first half and the only reason he had a slightly better second half was because he didn’t touch the ball.

    I wonder if the thought ever crossed wenger’s mind to recall Kyle bartley from rangers for right back. he has played quite a lot of games there for rangers and pretty well i’m told. instead we’v stuck with JD for about a month now and then put some youngster on. probably should have been done as soon as coqulin joined the injury list.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    WTF was Arsene thinking with that sub. I think RVP was thinking the same as us NOOOOOOO!!!! YOU CRAZY OLD BASTARD NOOOOOOOO!!!!

    I think it is safe to say RVP will not be with us next season.

  • bonathan

    wenger seriously lacks ‘in game’ nouse. he just ain’t savvy enough to see the ebbs and flow of a game. it’s as if he’s planned all his subs before the match has even kicked off and that’s it set in stone. He seems to lack some basic understanding that is obvious to everyone else but not him.

    i’m really starting to think he should be moved upstairs. he is an excellent talent spotter, no doubt. but he just lacks something now. he needs help or moving upstairs.

  • Berth

    Even the Park of a guy had a very good touch and make runs from what I have seen and Wenger still thinks the guy not good enough to play in the league. This man really is insane.

  • AmriGooner

    Funny thing that Devday mentioned in his article -before the game- the
    weird and strange desicions this season and it was proofed very clearly
    by that insane substitution.
    He said Ox started fatigue!!
    Thankfully, i have eyes and what I saw is that Ox was the
    most active and mobile player on the pitch and he didn’t complain about
    calf problem or any other problem as Wenger said.
    Also, I see Ramsey every game get severely fatigued and barely
    breath by the 70th minute of every game combined with not very convincing
    performance and he still doesn’t change him.
    Talk about strange desicions!!!

  • robin

    Wenger is starting to lose all respect that the fans had for him. All the good work hes done is starting to be forgotten and he’ll be remembered in the coming few seasons for bungling in the transfer market, having no clue tactically, and losing the dressing room. Its a sad end for a great manager, but most of us could see it coming years ago. Its over for Wenger and irs not funny anymore. Any orther club would have sacked him by now

  • robin

    Wenger’s obsession is the Champions League. He has never won it and considers it a huge omission from his managerial CV. The reality that he may well not get a chance at cracking it again next season is having an obvious effect on his demeanour. Someone should have the balls to put him out of his misery, as on £7 million a year, he sure isn’t going to do the honourable thing and call time on his tenure at Arsenal. And of course, in his own mind, he probably believes that with a bit of luck, he might actually manage to win it this season. And that’s delusional behavior if ever I saw it.

  • robin

    until the tyrant is still at the club we can be sure of no trophies

  • Leroy

    AOC was staring to fatigue really? Why was he angry at being subbed then? Why did he mange a superb run and a superb pass that got us a goal if he so tired just minutes before? Sorry Wenger you have lost it completly but you are the perfect muppet to lead this team, since you don´t want to spend money. That sits perfectly with the current board and they will have even more after this summer when RvP is sold. But let me remind you lot that we fans pay big money to watch you and that will not be forever if you keep this up. All you people who sit there with banners in Wenger we trust and still do maybe you should see a doctor and get tested for Alzheimers

  • paul

    Little was made of Fergies brilliant dark arts last night. With Arsenal having equalized, the crowd buzzing and finally looking like we were on top and had some belief to go on and win, Nani gets injured and ye olde Purple nose instructs Nani and the physios to not come off the pitch and let the game continue. Instead Nani stays on the pitch being treated, wasting a few vital minutes but more importantly letting the wind out of Arsenal sails before recommencing with all momentum from the equalizer evaporated. Brilliant stuff by the scot, and like Fletchers niggly midfield fouls breaking up play a few seasons ago or the pitch being slightly overwatered and greasy or grass left longer than normal to slow our passing, these little changes dont lose us games but give United a few more variables to knock us of our stride. Important to note that while not exactly sportsmanlike, none of these tactics are illegal (just like Highbury being narrower than opposition were used to or the emirates being a better passing surface for example). Unfortunately whether its tactics or strategy, Ferguson has trumped Wenger for a good few years now. Although straight out of the playing the post 2005 Arsenal playbook There is a common template when playing United, they sit back in two banks of 4, watch us pass ourselves into losing possession then hit us on the break, skinning us on the wings with actual end product e.g a cross and headed winner or Rooney applying the finishing touch. Predictable? yes, effective? Absolutely. Well done United, deserved the win. No dubious decisions by the ref and although were traumatized with injuries, youve had more than your fair share this season. Better team won.

  • paul

    I was thinking about Sunday’s game and really think things could turn nasty. Could even see myself properly giving Wenger some grief and I’m a mild mannered soul! ( )

    I thought about what could be sung to AW. (?)
    The reason why there has been so much agro and divide over AW his past history with us. I totally understand someone calling him a cunt o Fuck off! as supporters it’s our divined right to express our opinions. Equally it’s also harsh given how much, before all this crap, he has done for us and this is how the infights start.

    The majority agree that change is now needed. Before anyone starts on ‘The board’ this is to do with Wenger and Wenger only. The board is another matter I agree but for the time being they don’t pick the team and the tactics….well not that there is any tactics used!

    So I got thinking how we could ask AW to go and in a polity and respectful mannor….
    The banner is spot on with its wording. It acknowledges his past and thanks him yet asks him to move on.
    If something was polity penned I’m sure many would be vocal about it, maybe even the AKB’s?

    How about:
    “We judged you last May! We judged you last MAAYYYY!
    Thanks for the memories, We judged you last May!” (?)

    or replace “We judged you last May!” with “Arsene step down & It’s time to step down”

    (Reword it but “Thanks for the memories” sits well in that song)

    Any other suggestions? (without explitives!! )

  • prime

    So from now on we cant compete with both manchester. Even with spurs… Please change somethin..

  • paul

    yes the manager